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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    April 16, 2013
    8:00 - 11:00pm EDT  

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quorum call:
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mr. reid: thank you very much, mr. president. i ask consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business, senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. reid: once again, i ask consent that it be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that we now proceed to a period of morning business with senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 99. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 99, expressing the sense of the senate that public servants should be committed for their dedication and continued service to the united states during public service recognition week. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there being no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without
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objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 100. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 100, commending and congratulating the university of louisville men's basketball team for winning its third division one national collegiate athletic association championship, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there being no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, s. 743, i understand, is at the desk, and due for a second reading -- first reading. i'm sorry. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 749, a bill to restore states' sovereign rights to enforce state and local sales and use tax laws, and for other
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purposes. mr. reid: i ask for a second reading and object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will be read for a second time on the next legislative day. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate recess subject to the call of the chair. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate stands in recess subject to the call of the chair.
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one day after the boston bombings a bipartisan watch group said the government used torture and illegal interrogation methods after the september 11 attacks in 2001. that report is next on c-span2. she came into the white house, she was a 47-year-old lady that he did politics. she was deeply depressed at the death of her son and especially under the terrible circumstances in which she died. she didn't have many friends
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unfortunately, but she did have a wonderful family there always seems to be somebody there and i don't think he did very much but she was a very intellectual woman, highly educated in that wonderful education a non-partisan review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the september 11, 2001 terrorist attacks concludes that, quote, the united states engaged in the practice of torture. the report put out by the constitution project is critical of both bush and obama administration's. it includes former members of congress. this is 50 minutes.
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>> thank you for your leadership on the task force and i want to express my thanks to the constitution project, but also to all of my fellow task force members what they brought to the table in terms of experience, wisdom, public service really made a difference in the development of this project and important report. as jim mentioned, there's more than 24 findings and recommendations. we can't cover all of those this morning that we want to hit some of the highlights. we hope he will take the entire report, study it through and look at each of those recommendations. why is this report important? it's important because we as a nation have to get this right.
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i looked back in history to the time during world war ii that we in turn to some japanese-americans. at the time it seemed like the right and proper thing to do but in light of history, it was an error. as of today this report will hopefully put into focus some of the actions taken in the post 9/11 environment. there are some key questions we wanted to address this morning. one, did the treatment of suspected terrorists and u.s. custody rise to the left of torture? second how did this happen and what can we learn from this to make better decisions to the future. we found the u.s. personnel in many instances used interrogation techniques on detainee's that constitute torture. american personnel conducted an even larger number of
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interrogations' with kroll and humane degrading treatment. both categories of actions violate u.s. law and international treaty obligations this conclusion is and based upon our own personal impressions, but rather grounded in a thorough and detailed examination of what constitutes the torture from a historical and legal context. we looked at court cases and determined that the treatment of detainees and many instances met the standards. the courts have determined constituting torture. but you look at the united states state department and its annual country reports on human rights practices as characterized many of the techniques used against the detainees and u.s. custody in the post 9/11 environment the state department is characterized the same treatment
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as torture, abuse or cruel treatment with the techniques were employed by foreign governments. the cia recognized this in an internal review and acknowledged many of the interrogation techniques were inconsistent with the public policy positions the united states has taken regarding human rights. the united states is understandably subject to criticism when they criticize another nation for engaging in torture and the unjustified same conduct under national security arguments. there are those that defend the techniques of waterboarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation because there was the office of legal counsel which issued a decision of proving of their use because they defined them as not being tortured. those opinions have since been repudiated by legal experts and
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even if its opinion it relies on a very legal definition of torture but also on factual representations about how the techniques of would be implemented that later proved inaccurate. this is an important context as to how the opinion came about but also as to how policy makers rely upon it. based upon a faeroe view of the available public record we determined that an application, torture was used against detainee is in many instances and across a wide range of the letters. on the question of responsibility or how did this happen any effort to understand how the government decided to improve the torture of detainees must begin with a recognition of the fear and anxiety that enveloped our country after 9/11. we have a small taste of this today even after the events yesterday in boston and we
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desire first responders and law enforcement and the public to know the perpetrators of this incredible act of violence. the intensity was greater post-9/11 because the incredible loss of lives and the greatest concerns of americans and the leaders in that period or preventing further attacks. they understand clearly that those officials whose decisions may have contributed to the use of torture undertook those measures as their best efforts to protect their fellow citizens it's critical of the approval of interrogation techniques that led to u.s. personnel engaging in torture of detainees. the investigation was not an undertaking partisan faultfinding. our conclusions about responsibility should be taking very seriously as an effort to understand what happened at many
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levels of u.s. policy making. there is no way of knowing how the government would have responded if a democratic administration were in power at the time of the tax and indeed our report is equally critical of the rendition to torture program which began under president clinton and we question several actions of the current administration as well. it should be noted that many of the corrective actions that were first undertaken during the bush administration as well. but the task force did conclude the nation's highest officials after the 9/11 attack in productions for the cia defense personnel based upon legal guidance that has since been repudiated. the most important decision may have been to declare the geneva convention did not apply to al qaeda and taliban captives in afghanistan or guantanamo.
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the administration never specified what rules would have applied instead. the task force believes that u.s. defense intelligence professionals and service members in harm's way of the clear orders on the treatment of detainees requiring at a minimum compliance with, and article 3 as the geneva convention to be the this was not done. civilian leaders and military commanders have an affirmative responsibility to ensure that their subordinates comply with all of the war. president obama has committed to observe the conventions through an executive order but a future president could change it by the stroke of a pen. congress, our recommendation needs to work with the administration to strengthen the torture statute, the war crimes act and the uniform code of military justice to remove the loopholes that allow the torture to occur. in terms of the cia we do not
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have access to classified information. this is the reason we are asking the administration to review the classified information to see what can be released without compromising national security and to provide more transparency in light on how the policy decisions were made. the troops on the front line and an untenable position. on the question of effectiveness and torture, there is no persuasive evidence in the public record that the widespread use of torture against suspected terrorists was necessary. it couldn't have otherwise been obtained. the task force believes is important to recognize.
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it doesn't require a demonstration that it never works. a person subjected to torture might well divulged useful information. heels legitimate information to justify its use. what values do america stand for? that is the ultimate question. but in addition to the legal and moral objections to its views, torture often produces false information, and it is difficult and time-consuming for interrogators and analysts to distinguish what may be true and usable from that which is false and misleading. also, conventional, wall for interrogation methods have proven to be successful whenever the united states uses of them throughout history and i've seen this in law enforcement as well. we have seen no evidence in the public record that the traditional means of intimidation would not have
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yielded the necessary intelligence following the attack of 9/11. they took the prisoner of war interrogation for 18 years at the sixth army intelligence school was on the task force would be happy to answer questions about the effectiveness of torture. those are a couple of the key findings, but there are many more findings in the task force report that i'm hopeful you will review. this has been made important task it's difficult for a nation to come to terms with what these findings are and we hope that we will learn from these and improve policymaking decisions in the future and with that i will turn it back to my co-chair with questions and answers.
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>> let me highlight a few other things in the report and identify some of our task force members to whom you might want to ask questions. the effects and the consequences, the report looks at the impact of our actions. after september 2011, the bush administration result to use every available position to protect from further attack. this extraordinary program is by president clinton became an important tool in that effort. since the numerous investigations and inquiries have found evidence of illegal acts in the form of the arbitrary defend to the contention resulting from the program. these need to be reviewed the
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extraordinary rendition by the task force regarding the black sites in poland and let the media. the investigation has been hampered by the u.s. government's refusal to provide any and share any information even as the polish prosecutors have issued indictments against polish officials for their role in facilitating the sites. inlet alenia, prosecutors face many of the same problems but not able to get information to share with them from the united states government. the investigation in 2011 while they admit there were sites there, they have no evidence of what prisoners were detained. there are a number of inquiries into the program in the united
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kingdom including by the house of commons and one by the all party parliamentary group headed by the conservative. the task force would prevent our findings to them in june. due to the growing legal and political consequences of the cia rendition program and secret prisons and the fact that officials credibly asserted both programs have been continued the task force recommends that the united states fully comply with its legal obligations under the convention bounce torture and cooperating with the pending investigations around the world and these lawsuits. president obama's early executive order also close to the cia black sites but the effect on the cia rendition of
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detainees to foreign custody is less clear. so there for the task force makes specific recommendations on ways to strengthen the process on the rolls on those renditions and the process of the diplomatic assurances in those countries to which they are rendered. ambassador thomas pickering can answer the questions that you have in this particular area of the diplomatic issues that we discussed. we also looked at the effect of the actions on a former detainees. they are not traditionally an object of sympathy, and yet many of these detainees who were found not to be guilty of anything even though they didn't have a trial or released virtually with no resistance, no help and no way to get back to the world.
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this is an issue that is important, and the doctor can answer questions with regards to those. a few words on the medical and the legal profession in this effort. averitt dissipated variously interrogations'. the operating procedures were altered to guide positions and their involvement in detention and interrogation procedures and put many of them in direct conflict with their professional ethics. we offer several recommendations to preclude this in the future. we have as asa mengin of the force feeding part and those where the military acknowledges that there were 28 it is a
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little higher as of today the detainees at guantanamo that are conducting a hunger strike, ten of whom are being forced fed. the press reports some lawyers from other detainee is report thunderstrike is much more widespread involving a majority of the 166 men still held there and some have lost significantly in recent weeks. this is a medical issue that i would suggest you direct your questions to the doctor. one of the things we found is this is a war conducted by the generals and the lawyers. they played a very key role in the aftermath of the attacks will years in the justice department's office of legal counsel provided legal advice that seemed to go to great lengths to about treatment that only amounted to torture.
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it offers a systematic examination in response to the court's decisions in public pressure. their role is unique. it's the president's law firm. they have a responsibility to push back against unreasonable institution pressures. they are not anywhere in the government. the task force recommends that it should periodically review the confidential opinions if they may be declassified and released. if the opinions might somehow be disclosed would be more mindful of their responsibilities to act in in partial matter or less likely to engage an advocacy.
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we are available to answer those questions. on the issue of the obama administration during the 2008 campaign, president obama criticized the bush administration treatment of detainees and the candidate obama promised to close guantanamo and reject torture without exception or equivocation pitting it he also criticized previous administrations for the executives included repeated invocation of the state secret privilege to get civil lawsuits thrown out of court and promised to lead a new era of openness. the administration has fulfilled some of the promises and conspicuously failed to fulfil others. in some cases because congress has blocked them but in other cases for the reasons of their own. as asa mentioned earlier, a high level secrecy involving their rendition and torture of
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detainees and september 11th to not continue to be justified on the basis of national security authorized enhanced techniques have been publicly disclosed. the former employees publication of detailed accounts of individual interrogations. ongoing classification of material document and these practices serves only to conceal evidence of wrongdoing and to make it your petition more likely. apart from reductions needed to protect specific individuals and it's the diplomatic agreements, the task force urges the president to direct executive branch agencies to fully declassify as much material about the treatment of the suspected terrorist as possible.
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the signatory in addition as prohibiting all acts of torture in addition to prohibiting all acts of torture requires all states in sure in their legal systems that the victim of an act of torture of teams for the redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation. the united states has not complied with this requirement putative the task force recommends the state secret privilege can be subjected to harmful independent review and restrict the use of the privilege to the cases it is necessary to guard against them on speculative arms to the national security. >> as asa mentioned the of 24 findings and specific recommendations before the legislative and the executive to act on. we urge you to read the report. we think it's readable.
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now let's close and open it up for questions. we try to get the website and others to understand the question to the it identify yourself and we for a microphone to come to you. thank you for listening to our summation of the report. who has questioned? yes, ma'am. >> thank you for doing this. from al jazeera. i have two questions. the one you mentioned a little bit about the force feeding of sun hung her striking detainee's at guantanamo. i wondered if you could talk about the long-term impact of that is and how can this situation be resolved and that
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leads to the second question for the both of you about the political will to do with the administration has said is its intended goal of closing the facility and due process for its detainee's as they can put on trial. it seems there is no will on either side and congress is planning the white house and the white house is planning congress. what can be done to move both of these issues forward? >> the long-term impact can be seen i think in two ways. one of the potential impact on the detainees in terms of success and in terms of personal risking injury. second, what is going to be the impact publicly on the situation in guantanamo. it came out strongly condemning and this is keeping in line with
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international ethical standards both professional treatment of ponder and the ethics of treating hunger strikers. we do not believe that force meeting should be an approach to the ponder strike. if you can imagine a detainee using the refusal to eat as a former protest and then you are forced to eat, forced physically to eat by being strapped into a specially made chair and restrained, having restrained on your arms come in your legs, your body, your head handed to the inserted in your throat into your stomach and you are trying to resist that with the only muscles that are free in your throat and discomfort obviously. in addition to that, food is forced in a liquid form your
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captain the chair for at least two hours. undermining the force feeding you can't go to the bathroom during that time, your dignity is taken away. the the world medical says addition international identified that process as cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. a given level of the brutality that could extend to torture. now since you are refusing food, that is going to happen to you twice a day day after day, week after week and for some detainee's it has gone on for years. there is no question that has a great risk to the detainee and
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if not treated properly some damage can occur and obviously there is always a risk of death. perhaps the most dramatic most focused and extensive. the conditions of the defense camp for the part of a detainee with the extended detention, the hope of getting out of guantanamo bay, the first part of that ended there is an application of the geneva convention and they were in discussions. when they didn't happen that had the second hundred strike. the restraint was introduced. it is now was a hunger strike
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occurring with very different circumstances. the last converse strike seemed to have been broken by the use of the force feeding because the numbers dropped off dramatically during the force feeding. in addition, you have to believe that there was some hope in association with that that the detainee's salles in addition to a forced feeding. this time we are dealing with force feeding and hundred strikers who may have much less hope. in fact, the reason for the hunger strike is an absence of hope so we are concerned that force feeding is being used, second we don't have a lot of transparency on how that is being done and third, it is very hard to see how we are going to have a reasonable doubt come here without some sort. ..
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probably will not be trial. that's where we had some disagreement and minority opinion. i might ask ambassador tom pickering, however, who is very outspoken on this issue to comment on this unheard question of the political will. >> thank you very much, jim.
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if i knew the answer and political will, i suppose there'd be more pathetic qualities to my history. one hopes we will see an immigration and gun control and other efforts. i spent my life as a diplomat and spent a good part of that life is trying to importune other governments to live up to the rule of law. i wish a grand embarrassed and indeed many ways felt undermined by the notion that our country, which instructed me on numerous occasions to uphold the rule of law, particularly indefinite without trial without practice and continue to crack this, despite all of the questions that people want to raise prisoners of war and all the rest. my sense is that we need a specific way forward.
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the report contains recommendations on a specific way forward, simply trial by military commissions with rights and privileges equal to article iii court system. if that won't work, various ways of deportation and in the end at least moving and retaining them in the system which the immigration statute provides for alternate deportation reviews. this is not a perfect answer, but it does in many ways addressed the question of the symbolism of guantánamo, which i think is now one unfortunate luck on the record of the united states with respect to the use of the rule of law and indeed the question of indefinite detention without trial.
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we also recommend that in parallel with the position that occurred when our forces left iraq, when a major effort is terminated in 2014 baby in fact a public statement declaration of determination of any application of the thought that there is a wartime situation continuing with respect, in particular, to these detainees. from my earlier remarks coming to understand the importance of that. >> every two dissenters to some of this. let me see if i could identify with the source of different desire. first of all, none of them relate to how it could be avoided. people in good faith can do terrible things as you go
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further and further down the chain is a greater and greater departure from the things contemplated. but as a professional lawyer, remedial sinus extremely difficult to deal with, even though this very strong agreement with respect to what is run under these cases. the terrible question is compared to what? as though it turns out to be sending people comment that went in my mind been even worse outcome of the supreme court interpreted some of our authorities, the kind of treatment on lesson favor only apply in the territory of the united states in shipping people and fewer rights and much less assistance they could otherwise get. i'm the question of the indefinite detention, we all agree it's night irish situation because we do not know when a conflict is, so therefore we do not what to do in the end.
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i would prefer to try some of these people and release some of them, but in many cases, the evidence is strong enough to detain, but my own view about that and that it think we said earlier about the need for a constant system of oversight, one of the things that's wrong is a once and for all determination made at the outset of the hearing and that's a mistake you have to constantly have rate based on new information. he must have constant oversight and the situation is similar in general surveillance with the requirement to deal with the situation. -based independent authority indefensible. the differences that exist with remedy and are not something
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about what's going on here, which is more laudable. i speak for everybody when i see the level of thoroughness that this is second to none and we hope even if they are some disagreement on the remedial side will agree to report well-placed powerful limits on what counts as a credible response to difficult situations we face in the past we must do everything in the future to avoid. >> let me also brief mention on the political part of the question. there's a lot like not my backyard for a project. there is a strong feeling among both sides of the political aisle that these people out to the united states put into prison to be a danger to the united states. that has now proven to be true
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and other terrorist actions. the civil courts, the federal courts have been able to try cases, get convictions come as something like 300 prisoners under the rubric in the united states soil today and has been no escapes and no dangers to the society. it's a political feeling that occurred in knots the problem. >> thank you. a couple questions. want to follow up on the guantánamo issue. you're not able to reach unanimous reason struggle, so what are chances are they are congress and the administration can overcome the political elite to legislative set up to closing
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guantánamo by the hand of 2014 as you suggested it to the other question relates to the boston tragedy. i think which payment is a picture of an over reaction to 9/11 in many ways in the church of detainees and counterterrorism cooperation a late but you may see of over reaction coming out of what's happening in boston in terms of the safety security public places, the kind of surveillance conducted domestically. >> on the first question, one of the reasons for giving a comprehensive report and putting it in context you can relate to and particularly the recommendation with the much classified material that supports or rejects what we found be released is valid if
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congress and the political forces a clear picture of what really did exist than what exists today. based on that, we think there might be some changes of attitude with regard to guantánamo. as far as the boston overreaction, to be one of the big problems of post-9/11 was the lack of clarity and let people down the line were asked to do. and i don't think that is likely to be repeated. one of the things they clearly feel it's necessary is a clear line of responsibilities and what you do with those responsibilities. hopefully that won't happen again. >> averages that come you made the point very clearly, the fact that we are holding this press conference this morning in the aftermath of a tragedy of great proportions to the country and
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talking about correcting the errors of overreaction shed in itself speaks something to the public and the press and indeed to those have to make decisions. we have put in our report a kind of roadmap of how to of late future area and we hope the fact we decided to go ahead this morning despite what would be home speaks to the question of cantley and shouldn't we get on their record went in a fact is a record of the need for correct of action and even in the aftermath of a national tragedy of the proportions we saw yesterday. >> one of the things we learned from this report is the single most dangerous notion in dealing with these things is to assume
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the necessity of us who to excuse yourself from the necessity of standard procedures. it's trying to make ad hoc judgments leads to more mistakes and if one takes the analogy to some medical treatment, the ability to follow protocol and standard procedures when it looks as though there's independent reasons to avoiding it is one of the things you have to constantly stress. there is much too much evidence to stress the moment and not a really clear with background procedures. i think one of the things we said as he got his extraordinary procedures. you don't spend your time arguing whether or not covered by the geneva convention. he followed the military advice to give everyone the same trial and get more legitimacy than nine out of the situation. the other point i would stress is that we had the al qaeda situation in 2001, we knew we
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were fighting some kind of systemic enemy. the early turn suggested an isolated act of an individual and may well change the way one starts to think about how it goes forward to national security and similar issues and a lot will be found out as to how this thing did and it turns out to be a situation from the long-term applications are obviously less than if it's not. >> i concur we are still learning obviously and i think the first responders, the homeland security officials, the fbi who follow protocols have no reason to think there'd be any overreaction or breach of normal protocols and policies put into
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place. >> other questions? i'm going to call on general irvine because we have had questions on the t. of torture is beneficial to the united states. can you comment on that? >> first of all, as we approach the question of what interrogation can or cannot produce, it became quickly evident there have been many claims made that harsh interrogation, torture, whatever you wish to call it would have run into the euphemism frequently enhanced interrogation techniques that they somehow works and therefore is a justifiable means of obtaining information. in fact, it is curious that
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today probably my people in the united states believe that harsh interrogation works and b., ought to be used at least in some cases were there is a particular significant threat that's involved. and the reason this probably has evolved as it has is that claims it is effective, that it has saved tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives have largely been made in a vacuum and as has been mentioned previously, we did not have access to classified information, particularly the classified interrogation logs develop by cia interrogators and in some instances military interrogators. those reports are of critical importance determining whether the claims that have been made
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have any validity. at this point, from what we've been able to determine from the public record, public record strongly suggests there was no useful information gained going to the dark side could save the hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands of lives claimed. there were many instances in the public record to support the notion we been badly misled by false confessions to ride from brutal interrogations. unfortunately it is a fact that people will just say whatever they think needs to be said if the pain becomes more than they can bear. other people are so unmanned to pain that they will die before
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the rodeo was an interrogator may wish to know. the issue of whether cruelty, torment, torture is the fact that is a question we can't say and never instances not affect it, nor can we say it is more effective than conventional means of interrogation. and this is an issue that will resolve or be resolved hopefully when the senate select committee on intelligence can release the details of the reported has prepared, where the senators and staffers have actually gone into the classified record and made an analysis based on that information. so far the reports are that there is not much there that would suggest this approach to interrogation has been useful. i'll just say in conclusion that in 2001 the united states had a
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great deal of its. the tactical and strategic interrogations. we've been very successful over a long period of time in learning how to do this and do it very, very well. unfortunately, when the policies were developed that led us to the dark side, many of those involved in formulating policies have no experience with interrogation and no experience with law-enforcement, the military and how matters are approached. one of the most successful fbi interrogators prior to 2001 is a guy named joe navarro. joe is noted for having said and was probably one of the interrogators qualified to interrogate debriefs a high-value al qaeda prisoner.
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shows that i only noted three things. i look at whatever i have to say and do it without breaking the law. first of all, i need a quiet room. second, i want what the rules are because i don't want to get in trouble and i need enough time to become that person's best and only friend. if you give me those three conditions, i will get whatever that person has to say unallocated effect leave quickly and safely within the terms of the law. so we need to do more of the king on our history to remind us what works and why it worked and not resort to what they seem to be at the time clever, unnecessary. >> we have a hand up over here. go ahead.
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>> thank you for the reporter. i have two questions. number one, are you planning to have the briefing were hearing on this issue to sponsor a hearing? [inaudible] how much of this issue impact the relationship of the united states with the muslim world and the image of the united states? >> i would just mention, but if the non-that we would be willing to testify and breathe anybody in the administration or congress, but it set them to invite us. >> thank you.
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i would like to first say that i've been very honored to be on this panel on throughout those two years find out a lot of information that i did not know in such great detail. it is important to me because one reason i'm in this country is because i believe in the idea of the constitution and of this country. let's not misleaders slows to thinking there's a lot of people who come here for our value and it is our value that we need to keep up because that's who we are. the problem with these issues as i am now sounding out a lot of them as you are.
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but in muslim and arab countries , we heard about these and some detailed because many of the detainees went back. many of these people is someone or children under 18 and were found not guilty and released and they went back and not only did they talk to their families and communities, but some of them appeared on television. that is a very uncomfortable position for me, someone has been working on human rights issues around the world for the last 30 years to find out that we have a problem with human rights. i work very closely on issues of religious freedom. there's also some of these issues in guantánamo and other
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places as you might've heard. this bothered me a great deal as an american, but imagine the situation abroad. i am very concerned that al qaeda has seen an expansion. it has been able to expand its forces serving in afghanistan and now going all the way to syria in parts of the chip and so on. ii think the more we stand up fr who we are, the more we defend our values, the more we are going to gain a good influence ensures to the muslim world. >> we have three minutes left before closing.
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which you have anything you'd like to say? said that to ask nick lewis if he has anything am banned asa close it off. >> the task force says are all societies behave differently under stress. at the signs they may take action to conflict with their values. we were under stress and may to take actions that conflict with who we are. who we are called to be in who we have committed to be. and then we spent about 10 years not be willing to face the truth about that. after covering what happened with euphemisms that a lot of state secrets. i believe are detaining task force has functioned as a truth commission, revealing the restraint from our values by shining the light of
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investigation and analysis to the problem in the hope that the next time we're under that stress, we do not go down the same road and it's been an honor to serve on this panel. >> just in terms of new things confederates discuss the contours of the report, the most important thing. there are some new points raised in the report. the discussion of the role of the international red cross and the debate inside the organization we have interviewed a fellow in washington who has to have an interview with the first commander of the detention hospital at guantánamo is presented his support for the humane face of guantánamo and as a naval captain kernel and now teaches at the u.s. naval war
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college and relates in our report how is filled with remorse and regret and was misled in years and what he did not notice at the time. >> it's been a great mc were deeply involved. >> likewise. it's been a knock to work with you and members of the task force. icann by saying i hope this does mercantilist ration as to how thing can make while in washington are a nation that a group of leaders in a bipartisan and left right if there is such thing can work through a thorny issue for our country, hopefully make a difference and this will set a good path for the future. thank you. >> thank you earn much for coming. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> texas republican representative louis cohen writes about homeland security policy in the aftermath of the bombings in boston. >> certainly over the last four years am a little worried about this administration and that is part of the long-term trend i outline that it is using more and more state power to impose a
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particular worldview i called liberalism of the go to the definition of that so we are using terms loosely. as a christian, i'm worried with the state hhs agency wants to mandate catholic institutions have to pay for border fashions in their insurance programs and i'm worried with the supreme court start taking out things like gay marriage. so i see more and more state imposing a particular kind of agenda and really a worldview. it's partisan politics. it's a worldview unless the world do i'm investigating.
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offered by democratic senator, joe manchin and pat toomey. also vote on a measure an amendment that will be decisive clips. here's chuck grassley of iowa and dick durbin of illinois. >> on this very important legislation, the american people may be wondered by the senate has not been voting on amendments to the pending gun legislation. the senate voted thursday to proceed to the bill. this follow calls the senate should debate the bill. and so, that's what i've said we are glad we are getting there. that has been very little
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debate. the president has said various proposals deserve a vote and we on this side of the aisle talking 10 to stand in the way of proceeding on the service, particularly on the amendment and i hope are able to vote very soon. last week, senator manchin and toomey unveiled the background checks. the majority leader announced the tree into amendment would be the first who would vote on, starting the debate now, obviously we haven't voted, so hopefully we will get to the vote. now, we haven't voted because despite claims from the other side, background checks are not and never have been a sweet spot of gun control debate. we haven't voted on it because
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supporters don't have the votes to pass it or at least put that's what it appears to me. and i think they know it. they don't have the votes even though reports indicate vice president biden, the president of the senate has been asking them to support the toomey-manchin bill. they don't have the votes for background checks, even though the vice president has reportedly stated the opposition to the proposal comes only from quote, unquote the black helicopter crowd. welcome to does that come from that point. toomey-manchin would impose new obligations and would do so, even though expanding god background checks would do nothing to stop newtown over their mass killings.
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who do so even though expanding background checks would do nothing to prevent these killings in the future. i often quote the deputy director of the national institute of justice. recently that institute wrote a background checks could work only if they were universal and accompanied that gun registration. of course, most members of the senate oppose gun registration. they know what has happened historically. it has led another countries to confiscation and members of the senate, but more importantly, lots of people there. under town meetings here that and don't want to go down that road. the background check amendments claims to strength and the
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rights of gun owners, but in fact it does not. the fact is the opposite history. it does not come from fringe elements of society. in fact, one of the reasons the senate hasn't voted is a widespread opposition to the amendment. if only fringe element had problems with that, we would be voting on this amendment. so keep watching. if we do not vote on toomey-manchin, it means the proponents of the idea that they don't have the votes to pass it. if we turn to assault weapons or magazines, then it is clear to all the majority knows it's far from a number of votes they need. so i think people are going to be waiting for time the votes
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that will never be there. meanwhile, on the side of the aisle, our caucus hopes to have their amendments considered soon about on the cement tents. our amendments will actually in the second amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and help thwart gun violence by criminals. there are reports the other side of the aisle want to block one of our amendment and do exactly that. so i lay out what i think is a situation. maybe there's leaders around you they would dispute me, but that's the way i see it. the majority doesn't have the votes to pass the amendment, so we are voting in the majority wants to block republican amendments they fear what passed. so we are either voting -- so we are voting on the republican one
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either. the senate voted to proceed to the bill. the senate voted to debate. the senate was promised an open amendment process that would make conducting those on the various offered. so far that has not happened. maybe soon i hope it happens, so i asked the audience to stay tuned and i yield the floor. thank you very much. >> mr. president. >> senator from illinois. >> at 10 unanimous consent request to the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent is be agreed to in their quest be further in the record. >> we are debating one of the most important those who have the senate for a long time. the reason we debate this is because it would have been a newtown connecticut on december the 14th. gun violence takes its toll every day in america and cities
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all across the country and my home state of illinois and we know because we read in here in the news said that it tends. at this moment, our nation is saddened by what happened in boston. we still don't know the cause, who was responsible. i have to say we are stunned by it. members of the senate i work with on the immigration bill plan to announce it today in a press conference. we postponed that in respect to people who fallen, injured and families in boston. it is a moment of great concern across the back of expressed well last night. we wait for the information and details to build a case for those who are responsible. i for one and i'm sure my colleagues feel the same way. don't rush to judgment until we have the facts to the parties responsible.
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the sadness for the victims and the sadness we feel that where people stand on the sidelines, as one this profound in the senate today. the issue before us is gun safety. 20 beautiful first-graders at their grade school in the town of newtown, connecticut and six of their teachers and administrators in defense of those children that there's a parent or grandparent alive they didn't identify with the horrible loss. last night in the group of parents from sandy hook elementary school, who in their continuing grief had the courage to come to congress and thank us to do something, to spare future children from this massacre. i met early in the morning. there wasn't a dry eye in the room as you can imagine.
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as they showed me the photographs of a beautiful little children who work on. i commend them for their courage and the question is whether they have the courage to step forward. i think we know what is at stake here. i come from a pretty diverse day. i come from downstate illinois, more small towns, the great city of chicago i ran in an area for the kind issues are volatile and porton too many people. i took some positions in which the gun lobby didn't care for. several times they decided they would wage a campaign when i ran for reelection. i survived their attacks and avenged it was elected to the senate here. this is the first meaningful gun safety legislature be taken up
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since i was elected to this body over 16 years ago. we are here because of newtown, connecticut. there's no question about it. if little over two years ago one of our own, gabrielle giffords from arizona at a town meeting was gunned down by being shot point link in the face and we did nothing. no hearings, no changes in the law. it is just another gun statistic too many people, but newtown touched our hearts. to think is beautiful little children could be massacred in their grade school classroom pier one child was shot 11 times. 11 times. this semi automatic weapon that was firing off rounds as fast as the deranged individual could vote them. so we are here today in the
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beginning of the debate on this important legislation. what is at stake here? well, this is about background checks. here's the basic questions we need to ask. do we believe the current federal law, which prohibits a convicted felon, a person under the court to avoid domestic abuse, a person judged mentally incompetent should be able to buy a gun in america. 90% of americans say that's an easy question and the answer is no, they shouldn't be able to buy a gun. 75% of gun owners say that. i come from a family of gun owners. they are responsible, law-abiding citizens who would never dream of looking the other way of a convicted felon wanted to buy a gun or person mentally
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deranged. they used them in a safe manner and represent the majority of gun owners across america. so this is such an obvious question when 90% of americans agree that we shouldn't sell guns is why is this being debated? why is this a big deal? can't stand the second part of the question. this capital is filled with tourists, many flu and before the flight took off, the flight attendant said hope you have a safe flight and passenger seatbelt. it's not like him would like to inform you that we have closely checked the passengers on board the plane to see if they are carrying guns or bombs and we're happy to report to you we checked out 60% of them and they are not carrying guns and bombs. have a nice flight.
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does that give you any of my future peace of mind? when the sales of guns, 40% sold in america today are not subject to background checks. what difference does that make? let me tell you the story going back to a moment of history in our state of illinois that illustrate why this is so a porton. ricky berzon is the head coach of the northwestern university men's basketball team in 1890s. he was a great fellow. as a loving husband, father of three children and a man of deep christian faith. on july 2nd, 1999, coach woodson was lucky with two of his children through his neighborhood in skokie, illinois, a great time. a white supremacist drove up and shot him to death in front of his kids. he was 43 years old.
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this gunman ended up going on a shooting spree for days across illinois and indiana are randomly targeting african-americans, jewish and asian americans and in the end he killed two and wounded nine. here's the reality. then he'll do the shooting never should've found a gun. he was prohibited because of a domestic violence restraining order against it. before his murderous rampage, he tried to buy a gun permit federal licensed unp area heights, illinois. he was rejected in the background check revealed he was prohibited from purchasing a gun. this white supremacist advantage of a cab in the background check was that still exist today. he found an advertisement for guns in the classified ads section of the newspaper. a gun trafficker named office and your have been buying guns from a dealer, over 72 guns in a
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two-year period and then turning around and reselling them to classified ads to buyers who wouldn't have to go through a background check. ricky berzon's killer by two handguns without a background check. he didn't use those on a shooting spree and killed ricky berzon on the streets of skokie in front of his children. the amendment, which is before us today would make that more difficult if not impossible. under the train to amendment, a background check would be required to sell guns advertised in a newspaper. that would've shut down the opportunity for the killer to get this murderous weapon. that's one of the issues before us and it's important. joe mentioned as a conservative democrat. no question about it.
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no debate on that issue. pat toomey is one of the most conservative republicans in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. the two of them came together and said let's write something respectful of the rights of gun owners, but closes the gaps in the law when it comes to background checks. i think they've done a good job. let me add quickly, they present things in the amendment i don't like at all. let me be specific. the amendment repealed the law prevents gun dealers from selling handguns to out-of-state buyers and expands immunity to unlicensed gun dealers. i don't want to vote for those two things, but this is the nature of a compromise and this is an nature senate. if we pass this, i have to be prepared to take on issues they certainly don't agree with because of the larger good, the
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notion of plug-in is 40% gap in the sale of firearms to me so compelling that i'm prepared to accept parts of the amendment i don't like. i'm never going to get exactly what i want on the floor of the senate, nor will any senator, nor should they expect to. we have differences of opinion, differences of party come the difference differences of philosophy and i want to commend senators manchin and toomey for stepping up here. i know they've taken some grief over at. the major gun lobby organizations oppose this amendment, but we need to do this. would it have saved the lives of his children at newtown, connecticut? no, this measure would not have because the guns used are purchased by his father who could legally purchase the guns. but it could have saved the life of ricky berzon and could also
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save the lives of so many others who were being gunned down on the street because people are owning and using guns who have no legal right to. the train to amendment business in the direction of closing the gap in the law. i know the gun lobby opposes this amendment and i don't know what their position is on the underlying the, but overwhelmingly american think i'm undersupported. so here's the question, can the senate rise above the political pressure to go for this measure? we need 60 votes in any of that to be bipartisan. not just the majority on the side of the aisle, but a good number on the other side. i am encouraged by last week's vote because last week we had a preliminary vote about whether we were even going to debate this issue and there is a question about it. before the vote came out, 13
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republican senators including the minority leader sent a public letter saying they were going to oppose any effort to debate the kind issue on the floor of the senate. it looked pretty bad when the republican leader took that position. 16 republican signers stepped up and shout, i thought, courage and commitment to this institution by voting with us to move forward on this debate. i am not assuming their votes on any issues, but i want to commend them in the spirit of this institution, which has failed in recent years to accept its mandate to deliberate and vote on the most important issues of this time. i want to commend them for remembering not in committing themselves to at least engage in this debate on the floor of the united states senate. what about background checks on the second amendment? the gun lobby argues background checks are unconstitutional,
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given that justice scalia made it clear in the heller decision on the second and they said basically the second amendment is a personal right to bear arms, not the right of a militia, which it then argued for years. scalia said in that decision laws imposing qualifications on the sale of arms are presumptively lawful. there's no doubt at least in scalia's mind that a background check is consistent with the second amendment. the gun lobby also argues background checks are in effect is. you've heard this argument, how do you? all the law-abiding citizens who live by them, but the criminals won't. nearly 2 million prohibited purchasers have been blocked from buying a gun since background checks went into effect. there is so careless they try to buy a gun anyway.
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the argument that is why are there so many gun crimes committed? well, because they get done through other means, which is another part of the bill. through the ads in the newspaper i mentioned earlier. the argument that unless a law is airtight, are we going to set standard for speeding on highways or texting on highways? i don't think so. we do our best to set a reasonable standard for the good of the society can understand there will be those who violate the law. same thing holds true in this argument. the gun lobby at this should not improve until you press the keyboard cases where buyers fill background checks. one of the agencies that gathers information for the prosecution, atf medical firearms. if you look at the agency, for years now the gun lobby worked to keep this as a leaderless
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agency and make sure didn't have the power to enforce laws on the books. can't have it both ways. they can't stop the atf from his job and argue will prosecute gun violations seriously. here's the bottom line, we are going to have those soon to see what the members in the united states senate and period are they going to stand with our police officers, religious leaders, teachers, prosecutors, that is of gun violence in families? what they stand with the strong majority of 90% of americans who support these proposals to save lives in this country? or will they stand with the gun lobby or refuses to compromise the mice be saved. i know i'm going to stand. i'm going to stand with ricky berzon family and his widow, surely. she wrote me this year when i held a hearing on gun violence is what she said. how a criminal is able to buy a gun with no questions asked is
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absurd. something must be done about it, and of quote. an important question, an important person whose life was changed forever because we do not have a strong law or enforce it. i stand with so many other families who suffered tragedy. the same as her newtown that were here last week, the families of the dems in my hometown in the city of chicago but i'm honored to represent. they were sick and tired of the gun lobby that puts industry profits before common sense and they're tired of the gun lobby having us when congress year after deadly year. i urge my colleagues to join the majority of americans who support commonsense reforms for gun safety. i urge my colleagues to support the compromised train to -- toomey-manchin amendment. i yuppified suggest the
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absence -- >> she came into the white house is a 47-year-old lady who assets while non-hated politics. she was obviously deeply depressed over last surviving son, especially under the terrible circumstances in which she died. she didn't have many friends come unfortunately, but did have this wonderful family who kept her going and they always seem to somebody they are. i don't think she did very much, but it chooses very intellectual
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woman, how educated. it seemed wasted in some way. >> up next, mark kelly spoke in favor of gun control legislation in congress and specifically the recent proposal and background checks sponsored by pat to toomy and joe manchin. this is 50 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> i'm dave cook from the monitor. let me begin by noting that for over 100 years the monitor has
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been headquartered a few bucks from yesterday's horrific bombings and as we begin today, all of us are thinking of our boston neighbors and their much loved hometown. our guest this morning are mark kelley for americans for responsible solutions, both first-time guests here. we welcome them. over the year we toasted hundreds of politicians at his breakfast, but only two former astronauts, john glenn and now mark kelly, a new jersey native from the academy later earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the u.s. naval postgraduate school. he became a naval aviator in 1997, flew 39 combat missions in operation desert storm and made four trips into space on federal missions. in january, captain kelley and his wife, gabby kaffir is founded americans for responsible solutions.
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a new york native, she graduated from barnard college. she served as communications director for the democratic party and its representative giver's chief of staff. prior to the launch of americans for responsible solutions, she was assistant secretary for public affairs at homeland security. so much for biography. now maintain mechanical matters. please no live blogging or treating. no sign of any kind with the breck is underway. c-span has agreed not to use video of the session for one hour after the session ends to give those of us in the room a chance to file. please do the traditional thing and that i'm in a nonthreatening signal and a happily call him all. while fergus the chance to make opening comments. but back on the floor is yours. thanks again for coming. >> you are very welcome. it is always great for me to be
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in the mentioned in the same sense on transcendence is john glenn because he is certainly one of my series. since february 2012 it had the opportunity to speak and attend the first flight into space and during the dinner got to sit between john glenn and neil armstrong, which other than that for spaceflight for certainly the highlight of my career as an astronaut. it's always great to be mentioned same sentence as john glenn. yesterday was a really difficult day for our country and especially those folks that live and work in boston and another "christian science monitor" is based in boston. someone from "the boston globe," so our heart, gabby and mind go
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at the of boston and everyone around the world who traveled to the race from a difficult day for our country. i also want to acknowledge today is the six-year anniversary of another horrific event and that was the shooting at virginia tech. six years ago today, over 30 people were murdered by a man who is clearly mentally ill and adjudicated as mentally ill. under the legislation that we are currently -- that is currently proposed here in the senate, that infinite may never have been. on january 8 of 2011, at his home in houston with my two daughters. gabby and i had one of those commuter marriages would go between washington and tucson in houston, sometimes clockwise,
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sometimes counterclockwise. on that day, gabby was meeting with constituents at a safeway, doing the most basic thing people do in a democracy and that is reaching out and speaking with her constituents. i was at home training for a shuttle mission, home with my two daughters when cabbies chief of staff called me and simply said gabby has been shot. no other information. i called back a few minutes later and that's what we found out she had a gunshot wound to the head. it's been quite a roller coaster ride since, with some really low point in some high points. the low points being as myself, my mom and two daughters travel to tucson, we found out that gabby had died. it's been a rough road, but a lot of positive things have come out of it.
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gabby is doing really, really well. she would've liked to been here this morning, but it's an early morning and we've got a long day. in january, actually december last year, about four months ago, gabby and i decided to start an organization to address this academic of gun violence that we've seen escalate in my opinion the last few years. it has from one year to the next seems to get worse. the mass shootings seem to become more frequent. the gun deaths from handguns and cities do not seem to be under control. so we spent some time thinking about the best way to address this problem and it didn't take us too long to settle on forming an organization that could do lobbying, but also the hard
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political work to try to elect members to the house and senate that would make some tough choices to oppose this seemingly ever powerful gun lobby to pass a reasonable and common sense legislation that most americans support. the bill that is going to be voted on soon in the senate is supported by 90% of american households. 93% of households who have gone owners. also, when you look at conservative states like texas and arizona, it has over 80% support. an expanded background checks is 74% of nra members. we have it goes here that is not
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the bill if it was my job to write, the exact bill that i would. but at this point, i am more in favor of the bill that is going to be voted on. the reason is that it is bar none of compromise between a conservative democrat and a rather conservative republican and senator toomey and senator manchin. we have a good piece of legislation that did not did and signed by the president will be sent name that will prevent many criminals and dangerously mentally ill people from getting easy access to firearms. right now we've got 40% of guns by without a background check
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and that is completely unacceptable. what happened to gabby and tucson i'm often asked what did the man who shot gabby pass a background check? answer is yes, absolutely. you were to through sporting goods store, bought a gun and pass the background check. the reality of the situation is he should not have. the community college that he went to new data. he also was an admitted heavy drug user and the united states army had the records i'm not. he should it fail of background check. if he would have failed in the state of arizona, one problem is he could've gone to the gun shown that the over the internet. it is critically important to close the loophole. it is also critically important that we get the records of mental illness into the federal
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national criminal background check system of which 120,000 of those records some of the state of arizona on the day gabby was injured. while i'm optimistic we could get something passed, we do have a problem with a lot of united states senators right now with regards to this bill. in my opinion and in the opinion of our organization, there's a lot of u.s. senators just looking for a reason to get to know and experience this last night when i was shown the face but posting a senator jeff flake of arizona, gabby's good friend who posted that he intends to vote no on this legislation. and he's got some reasons. the reason he cites on his
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facebook posed in all of you are welcome to take a look at that. if you camera to take a look at the bill, it appears to me that maybe he actually hasn't read the bill. because his concerns are clearly addressed in the piece of legislation. so what is going on here? i imagine what senator flake and probably another 10 or more senators that we hope to get to yes i looking for a reason to get to know the influence of the gun lobby and how that might affect the next election. one of our roles is going to be to provide a place they come up for if they take the stuff that is, we will be there to support them. if they won't stand up and do what the american people are
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asking, who will be there to replace them. so that is our role in this debate as well as to help people understand the legislation, to try to convince them that this is the right thing to do and it's the right thing to do for one clear reason and that is because it is completely unacceptable in our country today to have 20 first-graders die in their classrooms along with six teachers and have more than dirty people every day murdered with a handgun in this country. it is completely unacceptable that we have 15 to 20 times the murder rates for guns and other similar countries. [inaudible] >> i was going to stop right there. >> isn't it wonderful how we agree? thank you for the good summary. the man one myself kind of
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summarizing the legislation that got very little chance of passing in the senate faces outright rejection in the house. even personal appeals from your wife had over either. you come this morning fairly pessimistic about the yachts getting done? >> i'm not completely pessimistic. two weeks ago the legislation was dead and then it seemed to recover quite a bit and i think there were a lot of folks that were someone up to mistake. we are looking at the way people are going to vote and it is not a client to get there, but i am confident over the coming days, we have a chance of coming and people to do the right thing and stand with their constituent and
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not stand with the gun lobby. [inaudible] >> you know, it occurred to me this morning when i woke up that senator flake's timing for his posting to his facebook was not ideal in my opinion. but he is a friend of gabby's. certainly we haven't given up. i view him as a reasonable person and when i explained to him, in person, why his concerns with this bill are unfounded, we
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can get him to come around. but it did occur is not ideal from his perspective. [inaudible] >> well, i am buried in favor of gun rights and so is our organization. i'm a strong supporter of the second amendment, like think most americans are.
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i served in the military for 25 years. gabby and i understand that it is unacceptable -- the amount of dead space that is completely unacceptable and to do nothing, the status quo is obviously not working for us. there is a problem and it is the obligation of the federal government to try to do something about it. so when we get to the point where we are looking to support candidates, we can find people that are much like us. most of america, when you look at the polling data, most of the country stand with gabby and i on this issue, they you can be pro-second amendment and pro-gun rights. you can also be against gun
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violence and realize there's certain things we can do to try to reduce violence in this country. this bill come as any other bill will do will not step murder from a gun, but lake legislation that we passed, you know, over the years, it can go a long way to solving a problem. the clean air act in the 1970s did not get rid of all pollution, but it got rid of a lot of it and made our air cleaner and lancelot healthier and we can do the same thing with gun violence if we enact some reasonable legislation. >> can i play devil's advocate? 90% or more people want some kind of background check. gallup had a poll out yesterday that says only 4% of americans machine guns at the nation's top
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problem. so this is a political problem one of intent to the then lots of people don't put it very, very high and the people who do i really organized. >> in my former life as an astronaut, i used to get a lot of questions about why are we going back to the moon on the mars? my answer was, this is what i used to say to that. when you look at polling data, where our space program stands in people's issues, it is often in people's top 10 things they are behind and concerned about. it's never in anybody's top three and that's why it doesn't get a lot of attention. you are right. it does not tend to be a subject that is on the forefront of the issues they are concerned with. it isn't.
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but newtown lifted up on the list a lot. it really did. did it for me personally, for my wife spent to much higher on the list. obviously for a come and this is our top priority. i understand it is not everybody's cup priority. >> tom. i [inaudible] [inaudible] -- you try to convince them that, you know, the people they are hearing from are a very vocal minority and most of their constituents are actually okay with some reasonable legislation
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to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerous mentally ill. but it is concerning because i've sat in member's office says who have said to me, i agree that there should be a universal background check. i agree we need to address high-capacity magazines and assault weapons and i can't vote for any of that. we need to convince them that there is an organization out there that will defend them from the gun lobby when they take these tough for us and these tough for us and that's when we start this organization in the nra, gunowners of america have done enough damage over the past 30 years. were they, in my opinion seemed to control the votes on gun legislation of the majority of the members of congress and that needs to be fixed. so it might take some election
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cycles. i [inaudible] >> well, they had a 100 year head start. this'll take a little bit of time. i will say that, you know, i am amazed at the amount of resources being able to put together over the last three or four. months. ..
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a. >> now backed by to gun rights groups over the last couple days and that has been a positive outcome. >> but specifically in the
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next few days with the change a policy which would have been did in boston in the unfortunate circumstances and how do think that will change how you push the bill through congress and whether you doing now? to do the final push with this legislation? >> phone calls and meetings. i think the one-on-one meeting with the members with gabby, me, the new town families are critical to get this passed. when you meet face to face some they losing their sixers seven year-old child in the classroom from a man who unloaded 150 rounds in about five minutes it is difficult to look that person in the face and say
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we will not do anything about that. that is the responsible thing for congress to do. the same thing goes for what happened to gabby six constituents murdered, 12 injured, she was near the assassinated two 1/2 years ago and why did congress do? what did they do? they didn't do anything. so the inaction on the issue needs to stop. >> why hasn't the president been able to get anything more that our bills based on where he wants to be a few months ago with gun-control? >> i thank you have more
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than 350 members of congress that are very afraid of the gun lobby. >> he is the president and just won reelection. >> so why can't the perhaps president convince? they are more concerned of the gun lobby then the president. that is clear as a speak to a number of u.s. senators and members of the house that before anything else they think of the next election and how much money the nra will spend. >> i am curious what you think is appalled -- possible with the politics? the national association for gun rights owners faced a page -- facebook page
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speeeleven and i just wondered your impression. >> i tend to not look at the comment sections articles written on this issue because we have a small minority of people better very passionate and if they are anonymous they can say pretty nasty things so the town at that level can be nasty but in general is has been pretty respectable. and the fact that senators toomey-manchin could come up with a bill they both agree on and it seems like a reasonable piece of legislation, it is a great thing especially in these times when congress is so
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polarized to have a compromise bill. idled think the rhetoric at that level was bad at all. obviously disappointed in what the nra and then the owners of america have said that there are some things with the nra that i agree with. but some of the ideas are not founded in fact, or what they are behind. >> is that different with your individual conversation or organizations they are injecting? >> a private conversation you get something different than what people say in public. but the tone is about the
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same. >> are members who are opposed to gun control spending tough moments arguing with them how did those conversations go? >> they are always cordial, respectful especially when gabby is there. as a former member someone who was nearly assassinated due to horrific gun violence in this country, they recognize that. we don't argue over these issues. i will be on the phone probably later today actually i will talk to the senator in person and i will try to alleviate some of his concerns on this bill and there are things he has said to me that i just get the
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impression he needs to understand better and we can get the boat -- get the vote. and also with the number of senators to. >> is there anybody you have tried to meet with? >> just to go further, i don't think we have been told in person that they don't think the expanded background check is not a good idea. they all support it. you heard speaker bay near that he got slack for it and he thinks everyone who wants to buy a gun should have the background check and then the nra called and the staff realized what he said he really meant though laws on the books should be enforced. that happens in time all the
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time but they support the expanded background check system. >> is in the nests to make it through the senate? >> there is no one path to victory on this and gave me the strategy is difficult. the weekend a half ago the press was reporting the bill and last week was a big week for a big moment the most conservative senators signed on. this is a pendulum we will
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lose a couple before we gain a couple more and it will take a while for a long hard haul. >> mark, when that nra decided last week that turnaround did you see those senators? was set on your report card? >> i don't know the timing of the score or what senators. we're still working with the number of senators. so yes. i have spoken to senators that will say they don't care about their score from the nra but i don't believe that. but that is the nra strategy
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and they know what they are doing on their side of this argument. i wake up every day thinking maybe they will come around that 100 percent agreement of the universal background check 1999. i can't they get back to that? >> it should be fairly easy to vote for. [inaudible] >> i don't think it addresses the biggest problem that we have witches criminals and the mentally ill to walk into a gun show or an internet web site to buy a gun basically anonymously. that is the biggest problem we have. it is so easy to get a gun. for responsible gun owners
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to pass the background check it only takes five minutes. i am sure most members of the leadership have bought guns with background checks. if it is okay for them then why isn't it for the criminals or the mentally ill to have to do the same thing? i have a hard time understanding this. he goes a long way to preventing people being murdered with guns. >> [inaudible] explain to us the differences. >> we talked to everyone involved in this issue.
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no one can deny the commitment to this issue. he has a much bigger organization and looking at the research they have compiled in we have been able to not take that portion i am sure the numbers are high but i would go to the web site. and with gun owners and a former member of congress with a different take but definitely as partners. >> can you talk more about.
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[inaudible] >> it hasn't been announced yet but there may be a second co-sponsor for the companion bill in the house. that is a step in the right direction. the first priority is getting it passed in the senate then we will be seeing what we have to do to get it passed in the house. we would not want the boat in the house to be next week it will take some time with those members to make sure they understand the legislation. i dunno if he has announced it yet.
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sorry about that. >> the personal abolition. [inaudible] i thank you met with him several times a and kiddies say how the president's thinking has changed on this issue? >> the "state of the union" after gabby was shot i am pretty sure he did mention that and talked about the tragedy and recognized she was not there but did not get into specifics. >> legislation. >> i agree but he did
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mention what happened and talked about it generically. over the last year we have had a number of mass shootings. aurora, the sikh temple, newtown but newtown change this for a lot of folks including gabby and i. an issue we have thought about a lot because it has affected us personally in many different ways. when uc 20 little kids murdered in their classrooms and a matter of minutes it changes for all of us and for the president's. he said that was the worst day of his presidency. just like it changed it for
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gabby and i eat it also changed it for the president and vice president and many members of congress and the american people. >> part of my question was already answered. i wanted to ask about families turning into advocates. seeing the advertisement the mayor is running in prime-time since the sandy hook incident. some have formed groups did you have become activists. it do you think this will have an impact on public opinion as well as any action in congress? >> we hope so.
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that is why we're doing this. not only to convince congress to pass a piece of legislation but to mobilize their constituents to do so. we signed up online probably close to 300,000 people in a few months. is that right? people that really care about the issue it did not take us very long. i imagine there are millions of other people that will in time get behind the organization the sandy hook organization to demand action. >> [inaudible]
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are there any lessons learned advocating? >> it is a different time. the brady bill help to usher the unsaid have kept been completely taken off the table. readjust in a different place. >> conservative critics say the system is broken and names are getting in there but nothing in the bill that will fix that.
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and is there merit to the critique that the administration don't prosecute those that do not pass the background check? >> i think there will be an amendment to the bill that if passed to take away funding department of justice funding from states that do not include those records. i hope that amendment would be passed. then there is a stick out there that states should respond to if they don't include their records on mental illness like arizona did not and 121,000 records when gabby was injured that could have been sent and were not. then arizona but lose funding. and virginia as an example
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before virginia tech they did not send very many records now they realize that was not a good approach because the shooter in that case would have failed a background check because he was adjudicated as mentally ill. we hope that is part of the final bill. it is important that it is. i'm trying to remember the second part of your question. i am not so sure the nra has their number is exactly right talking about prosecution. but that is a problem. people should be prosecuted when they are a known felon buying a gun and fails the background check and should be prosecuted and often are not. don't forget, at that moment he was still prevented from getting a gun. so the background check
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system part works very well. if a felon or adjudicated mentally ill fails the background check they did not walk out with a gun. who knows how long it may have taken them, it is probably pretty easy to go to the gun show for the internet but in that period of time maybe they were prevented from committing a crime. >> before the toomey-manchin bill the negotiations of all senator colbert -- coburn and he has sent a letter to his colleagues to push the idea. so what is your understanding and do you see that as a potentially viable alternative? and my second question
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is, is your point* in order to get the 60 is so watered down that we cannot back it or is any progress worth it? >> senator coburn is a big issue and you know, this, is if there is any record left behind. his concern is even if it is similar to the record currently kept if it is anyway electronic like it may have to be with the internet portal or associated that they will not lead to a registry of confiscation. i don't believe that. that is what senator coburn is concerned about. is that a viable alternative?
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for the toomey-manchin bill is much better for the simple reason it does leave behind a record law enforcement can use that they can do that if there is a crime committed a police agency king go to the gun manufacturer to say where did it go? it went to the gun show and to this dealer resold it to this person. then they can help them to solve some crimes. that is the better bill in our opinion. going back to the coburn built thinking long and hard about it and we could get to the point* with this is a
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watered-down that our organization will not support it. >> you said you are poised to replace people. [inaudible] >> yes. if there was the right candidate and he did not support this legislation, yes. friendship is one thing, a saving people's lives especially first graders, is another. >> i thank you mentioned the people you mentioned.
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>> i mentioned senator flake because we put them on facebook yesterday but there are some that we will meet with today who we are on the phone with with their own private conversations i think we can get there. it will be hard work over the next several days and who knows what the vote will be especially with the tragedy in boston and how does that change the agenda? >> does it make you want to run? >> run away? [laughter] from washington? >> to run in texas or arizona? >> i am currently registered in arizona. we sold the house in houston
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and year permanently in arizona. that is where i registered to vote. no. gabby and i want to help and that is the number one priority. >> thanks to all three of you for coming. we appreciated. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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will talk with judicial committee member of the legal murder of as security policy in the aftermath of the bombings in in boston and discuss the legislative agenda in the senate with a democrat from maryland and focus on the legacy of former margaret thatcher's presidency. "washington journal" every day. 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> with the details of the bipartisan immigration bill the so called king of a compromise. new york senator chuck schumer and john mccain spoke with reporters after that meeting. this is 15 minutes. >> we had a good meeting with the president am briefed him on the details of the immigration reform bill and while he certainly
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might not agree with every part he was very supportive of the bill we have put together and simply wants to make sure we move it along to get something done. i think everyone realizes and our group of eight in the president realizes nobody will get everything they want but if we meet in the middle we can do a lot of good for americans and for our economy. we are feeling very good about this, things are moving in a very good way and the supported -- the president supported our proposal it is in the right place to be because even if people don't agree with every single part i don't want to give you the impression he is begrudging
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but he is enthusiastic. and we are playing it just right moving forward by giving us the space to come up with the agreement and we thank him for doing that and he will continue to do that to get a bill done. >> we briefed the president on a number of details and a proposal that gang of 8 is coming up with that we will be bringing forward to the united states senate as short of a time as this evening. but the process we went through having been in the senate to have this process before was very supportive. the president realizes everybody didn't want -- get what they wanted completely but it is a product of compromise we appreciate his support and we believe that is important as we move forward with the process. that this is the beginning of a process, not the end we
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will have floor debates but i am confident at the end of the day we will have a bill to the president's desk because of major players in fault are now on board. literally every one. that is a change from the last time in 2007. >> two more points. do hope to drop the bill late tonight and they are working as we speak and that is very, very important. one of the things we all agree is there should be an open process for those who don't agree can offer amendments that the idea that we in the group and friends and colleagues that would make sure the core the bigger vote we can get in the senat the easier to pass in the house.
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hoping not to pass it was six years 61 vote. >> in response to the terror attacks are you concerned this will delay action on a legislative priority? >> i don't see any connection to tell you the truth. in fact, if we enacted the legislation part of the bill is exit and entry required documentation and it would make it harder for people to enter and leave and tamper proof documents for people who go to get a job with the e-verify system so i would argue passage will enhance our ability to keep our country secure. >> we delay for one day not because of any conflict but
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out of respect for the people of boston. >> what is the overall response? >> for both state and federal it is adequate and i hope they will be able to ascertain who perpetrated the hoax but it is everything that needs to be done. >> do you believe this is for an involved? >> we do not know. >> with those points you had to resolve, the 2007 bill fell apart. . .
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labor was trying to -- i think john will correct me if i'm wrong. not only are business and labor on board. not only are the farm growers and workers on board, they are on board enthusiastically. each thinks it's a good bill for them. high-tech on board enthusiastically. the religious community, liberal and consumer on board. we have a lot of broad support that was not there in 2007. the other sticking point is amnesty. if you have to go to the back of the line. first, if you have to register,
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go to the back of the line, learn english, work, stay clear of the law, admit wrong doing, and pay a significant fine. that's not amnesty in anyone's book except to anyone opposed to any immigration bill. >> the trued has changed since -- the overwhelming majority willing to give the people in the country illegally. they will here because they overstayed their visa not because they came across the border. we have tough border enforcement provision. border enforcement provision and as senator schumer articulated back to the line.
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pay back taxes and fines et. cetera. [inaudible] >> frankly elections have had an impact as well. i would say this, both the senate and the american people are at one with us. they will be -- they will support the senate and the american people will support common sense balance solutions to future immigration and the 11 million who are here illegally provided that they have assurance that we will not have future waves of illegal immigration. john has made that a watch word as we have moved this bill through. we believe those provisions are very important. the president, for instance, didn't believe in a trigger. we did. we created a trigger that is achievable and specific. so it can't be used as an excuse not provide the path to
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citizenship. >> senators, in 2007, once the bill was introduced was when you started to get the wave of talk radio critic and the town hall meetings, i know senator mccain remembers well. [laughter] so, you know, there's already some chatter, is there any reason to believe the same dynamic. >> thank you, the effort of a lot of us. ease specially marco rubio. there's an outreach to many of the talk show host. many of those who were opposed in the past and called it amnesty. we've been able to make an argument that many of the people who are in the past wanted not amnesty we just described. we'll have a secure border and won't have a third wave of people to come to the country illegally. that was the great concern in the past. and finally we are able to convince people that it is good for the american economy. >> reporter: in the future half a million workers --
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[inaudible] >> we're taking in people when there is not a job available to american. that's one of the underlying principle of our bill. we are desperately short of engineers and ph.d.es and math and science. they tend to be the job creators. a quarter of the silicon valley companies founded by immigrant. at the same time americans don't do farm work. so if we don't have some imported labor for farm work we won't have crops and people will have to import food which is not a good idea. it's not the number. it's the way we have done it that is important. on the other hand we have been tough on provisions where americans will do the job. in other words,ly just say in my corp.er of the world i ride any bicycle around brooklyn. i see people on street corners
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and some small construction guy say i'll give you $20 to work eight hours and no lunch break. they say yes. it lowered the cost of labor but american do that job for more pay. they get the opportunity. you put together, i think it's a fair bill. here is our basic premises is this. the system is broken. we turn away people who create jobs in america and we allow them to cross other the border people who take jobs away from americans. they will be balanced and support common sense solutions to those who are here, the 11 meal who -- million who are here illegally today and future immigration as long as they're sure there won't be a third wave of immigration. those are the two guiding principle i say that have underguarded our bill. >> reporter: senator you mentioned . >> i mention two points. you ask about the number of
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workers. over half of the individuals who will graduate from our major institutions with technical degrees this year, postgraduate degrees are not -- americans. we want them to have an opportunity to stay in america if they want to. second of all, most important part of this legislation is verification, e verify that the employer will not be able to hire someone who is in this country illegally. as long as people will do that, there's going the magnet. as soon as word gets it country even if there's not a job there. it drives up. the proposal didn't have one. we felt it was important, first, we think it's the right thing to
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do. second, you think you're not going to pass the bill with the house, senate, and the approval of the american people if they're not assure there had isn't going to be another wave of illegal immigration. people don't want to keep going over and over again. >> you asked the president for -- [inaudible] >> talk about that. the time table. did we do that? yeah. the time table. we hope to have two hearings. we have to introduce the bill want to. there are hearings by senator leahy and judiciary on friday. there are hearings in other committees other the next few weeks. it will go on the markup schedule next tuesday. that's -- then you have a week that it is actually ready in so in judiciary. anyone can delay it a week. we will begin opening up the bill. opponent of the bill offer all the amendments they like in early may. it will take couple of weeks in
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may. thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] the funeral for margaret much thatcher tomorrow morning. former secretary ever state hillary clintoning with queen
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elizabeth ii will be in attention. we'll have live coverage at 4:15 a.m. eastern on c-span2. he spoke briefly about the boston bombings. watch the entire hearing at c-span.org. let me say a few words about what happened in boston yesterday. like all americans my thoughts and prayers with the people at dod in all of washington are with the people of boston today. especially the families of the victims in those injured by what appears to be cruel act of terror. as the president said yesterday, we still don't know who did this or why. and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or
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domestic. it's important not to jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but as the white house said last night, any event that multiple explosive devices, as this appears to be, is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror. the president made clear that we will find out who do this. we will find out why they did this, and any responsible individuals or groups will be brought to justice. i'd like to commend local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for the quick response to yesterday's tragic event. and also express our gratitude to the members of the national guard supporting the marathon and among the first on the scene. i'm mindful that many members of the military community traveled to boston to participate in the race and our thoughts are with all of them today. the department of defense is
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prepared to respond quickly to any response for additional support for domestic laimplet agencies. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] all right the hearing has come to order. first, i would like to start on a somber note. just to say that our hearts and our prayers go out to the victims of the terrorist attack in boston, and we have some here from the neck of the woods, we think about them at this time. and this is a moment where those have kids hug them a little tight. and those who attend the intel briefings and vote on the issue see the human side of it. it goes without saying our hearts and minds gout go out to the victims of the explosion in boston yesterday. secretary. it's nice to call you secretary. congratulations on your new post. i hope your signature is improved. you had good jokes about that. it's nice to have you here. in your new capacity as treasury
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secretary. i know, that despite our agreement, we appreciate you taking the time to join with us today. you have four budget hearings as treasury of secretary. beappreciate you giving your time. yesterday was tax day. and tax season was more stressful than it needed to be. our tax code is a rue amaze. today it's 4 million words long. enough to fill 70,000 pages. in fact it's so long that roughly 90% of americans pay for professional help to file the tax returns. this cost them $16 0 billion each year. $16 0 billion spent by americans filling out their taxes. and then after that trouble the process leads them as the colleague put it like a crook or sucker. we also have the highest corporate tax rate which hurts workers most of all. high corporate tax rate means
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they take home less pay than otherwise. i'm glad it call the for corporate tax reform. we agree on the problem. of the income in taxes. that is n our opinion is unfair. it hurts jobs, we need reform the individual tax code as well. but they don't want to use the money to lower the rate to spur economic growth. they want to pay for more spending inspect fact the president's budget was released last month or last week calls for 1.1 trillion in new spending. and short the president's plan take more from families to spend nor many washington. we think it's the wrong approach. we don't think it's going help the economy. we have seen this before under
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the budget we have to run deficit at or close to $1 trillion for five straight years. millions of americans are out of work or living in poverty. the highest rates we have seen in a generation. the administration's response seems to be more of the same. more spending higher taxes and record debt. what we can't keep spending money we don't have. we need a new approach. we need an approach that encourages economic growth. the longer we delay fundamental reform. the longer we delay a real recovery. our national debt is weighing down our country like an anchor. it's weighing down our economy. it's making it harder for us to get ahead. the administration claims that if we approve the budget we'll have reduced deficit by 4.3 trillion. this is not true. i want to break it down and they'll show me how. the administration said we reduced deficit by police $2.6. the president is responsible for all the policy enacted before
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when he was in office for the first two years. if you add back the money for the stimlis, the payroll tax holiday, the 24% increase in domestic spend. total deficit reduction when you net it out comes close to $5 billion. not the higher number. you have to add both sides. all of those savings have been signed to law. this is the second line on the chart. once you take out the baseline gains and add back nearly spending increase in the budget when the gimmick removed and spending counted. total deficit reduction comes to $1 19 billion. we see it as a disappointment. because it's a missed opportunity. we need a new floach washington to meet the most pressing challenges. that's what we are offering.
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we offer a plan to balance the budget in ten years which we think is a critical to growing a healthy economy. we extend opportunity for them. we guarantee we think we need to get back to work to repair the safety net there in a reline, responsible, sustainable way. something we haven't been able to save for a number of years. it even if we can't agree on anything or everything. we need agree on something. we need a down payment on the dead. i would like to learn more. we can finally find common ground. i'm hoping at the end of the day we can make a down payment for the country and make it work in any way question. with that i would like to yield. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to start we joining the
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chairman in i also like to join you, mr. chairman in welcoming you to the committee. the first time as secretary of the treasury. congratulations to you. thank you for your service. and thank you for being here to taunt the president's budget. and i believe the president's budget accomplishes two important objective. one, and foremost it focuses on job growth now. we all know that seen job growth in our economy over the last thirty plus months.
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to talk to the european partner and it generated headlines like these unfortunately the house republican budget does not. because the house republican budget would keep in place the very immediate and deep sequester cuts which the nonpartisan independent congressional budget office says will result in 750,000 fewer jobs by the end of this year alone. congressional budget office projects that three quarter of the fiscal year 2014 deficit is due to slow employment levels. under employment in the economy. we need to focus on that right
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now rather than pursuing european-style awe tearty in the budget as republican colleagues budget does. you also had a visit to china, i think your visit, mr. mr. speaker to china. i mentioned in the hearing we we had a major biotech company in our district last year laid off more than 1,000 people because of, quote, uncertain budget environment here at home with respect to investment and science and research. this year because of the sequester, they have a hiring freeze in place. the one place they point out they are hiring, is in china. it says we have substitute -- institute a hiring freeze with china being the only exception. they point out not because of lower wages paid in china. because the chinese are copying what has historically been a successful u.s. model of investing in science and
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research. and it would be very short sighted if we pursue the austerity approach cut the investment in at time when many major international competitor are following that successful model. i appreciate the fact that the president's budget focuses on those investment and shows question continue to make important investment at the same time that we reduce our deficit in a steady way. and for some of our members who are new to the committee, the last time we had a balance budget in this country was when jack lou was the head of omb during the clinton administration. [inaudible] >> when he was the head -- when he was head of omb during the clinton administration, and of course, when he left that post we projected surpluses. that was before a two-wars on the credit card. that was before we put a new prescription drug plan on the credit card. and two back to back tax cut
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that benefit the wealthy. mr. lou it's good have you here. and i would just point out that the approach so you taken here to reducing the deficit is a balanced one. meaning you continue to build on the cut that have been made. $2 minute 5 trillion in deficit reduction already. you do it in a targeted way and you do it in part by closing some of those tax loopholes that the chairman mentioned. the difference is that the republican budget does not close one single tax loophole for the purpose of reducing the deficit. where as the. the east budget closes the tax breaks for folks at the high end for the purpose of reducing the deficit in a balanced way. let me just close, mr. chairman, by urges us to try 0 come together as soon as possible. to bridge the differences
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between these budgets. chairman said we need to get together and move forward. i agree. and that's why we call upon speaker to immediately appoint to a budget conference. there's been a lot of discussion this committee about how the president's budget was somewhat late. in the budget law, the conference committees are supposed to have completed action by april 15th. so as right now the congress is out of compliance with the budget act. the fastest way to try to come to compliance the as fast as possible is appoint conifer rei and follow the regular order something our republican colleagues have been calling for. let's get on with this, mr. speakerrer you should appoint them to a budget conference right now so we can begin to tbrij the differences and move forward. thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, mr. speaker. >> the floor is yours.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member van hole less than. i would like to again expressing sympathy of people of boston. our thoughts and prayers with them. as the president said yesterday we're sparing no effort as investigation goes on to the horrible act. trs a pleasure to be here with you today to testify on the president's budget. i would like to begin review where we are in the economy. it is stronger today than four years ago. we must continue to pursue policy to create job and accurate growth. since 2009 the economy -- private employers added nearly 6.5 million job over the past 37 months. the housing market improved consumer spending and business investment have been solid, and export expended. tough challenges remain. while remove much of the wreckage from the worst economic crisis since the great depression.
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the damage left in the wake is not fully repaired. families across the country are still struggling, unemployment remain high, economic growth needs to be faster, while we made progress we must donor put the -- congresses to generate. including harsh spending cut from the sequester that will be a drag on the economy in month ahead.head. ..

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